Esteemed Monash Scientist elected to prestigious American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Steven Chown in the sub-Antarctic. Credit: C Janion-Scheepers.

Professor Steven Chown, internationally renowned ecologist and biologist, from Monash University’s Faculty of Science has been elected as an Honorary International Member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Professor Chown was one of just 37 new international members of the Academy elected for 2020. He joins more than 5700 members based across the world – a cohort that includes 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

A Professor of Biological Sciences at Monash University and President of the International Science Council’s Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), Professor Chown’s areas of expertise are in ecology, evolutionary physiology and conservation biology, with a particular focus on biodiversity in Antarctica.

He is widely published in scientific literature, has contributed to several scientific and popular books, and provided evidence-based advice to the Antarctic Treaty System through SCAR for more than a decade.

Elected for his work in Evolutionary and Population Biology and Ecology, Professor Chown said he was honoured to be considered for this prestigious accolade.

“The American Academy of Arts & Sciences is one of the world’s finest institutions and one of which I’m privileged to be part,” Professor Chown said.

“The Academy is honouring a debt to all generations. To those in the future by improving their prospects for an environmentally rich, intellectually rewarding and prosperous life. To those of the past by treasuring the personal and professional sacrifices of centuries of scholars who have advanced the public good. To those now, by illuminating informed, actionable hope that is too often hidden by, in Samuel Johnson’s words …’the frown of power, the hiss of ignorance, and the clamour of popularity’.

“It is my great privilege to join an extraordinary group of people honouring this debt. I look forward to being of service.”

Professor Jordan Nash, Dean of the Faculty of Science, congratulated Professor Chown on his achievement.

“We are very proud of Professor Chown’s ongoing work in ecology, evolutionary physiology and conservation biology, which has now been recognised by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences,” Professor Nash said.

“I extend my warmest congratulations to Professor Chown on becoming a member of the Academy, and joining an illustrious group of individuals who continue to transform our world for the better.”

The American Academy of Arts & Sciences was founded during the American Revolution in 1780, and is one of the oldest learned societies in the USA. The Academy is dedicated to honouring excellence and leadership, and advancing the common good.

For more information about new 2020 members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, please visit

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